Building trust

AI is embedded in everyday life, business, government, medicine and more. At IBM, we are helping people and organizations adopt AI responsibly. Only by embedding ethical principles into AI applications and processes can we build systems based on trust.

*Source: IBM’s From Roadblock to Scale: The Global Sprint Towards AI Study 2020

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3 in 4 businesses are exploring or implementing AI.

Graph showing 78%

78% of senior business decision-makers say it is very or critically important that they can trust that their AI’s output is fair, safe, reliable.

Responsible innovation

For more than 100 years, IBM has continuously strived for responsible innovation capable of bringing benefits to everyone and not just a few.

This philosophy is also applied to artificial intelligence: we aim to create and offer reliable technology that can augment, not replace, human decision-making.

We oversee a multidisciplinary, transparent, and shared approach to development, design, management and support of AI. All communities that deal with AI must be involved: those who design and develop the technology, those who deploy it, and those who use it.

Principles

The guiding values that distinguish IBM’s approach

The purpose of AI

Engine lamp

The purpose of AI is to augment human intelligence.

At IBM, we believe AI should make all of us better at our jobs, and that the benefits of the AI era should touch the many, not just the elite few.

Data and insights ownership

Person connected to shapes

Data and insights belong to their creator.

IBM clients’ data is their data, and their insights are their insights.

Transparency and explainability

Eye connected to nodes

New technology, including AI systems, must be transparent and explainable.

Technology companies must be clear about who trains their AI systems, what data was used in that training and, most importantly, what went into their algorithms’ recommendations.

Focus areas

Our fundamental properties for ethical AI

Explainability

Good design does not sacrifice transparency in creating a seamless experience.

Fairness

Properly calibrated, AI can assist humans in making fairer choices.

Robustness

As systems are employed to make crucial decisions, AI must be secure and robust.

Transparency

Transparency reinforces trust, and the best way to promote transparency is through disclosure.

Privacy

AI systems must prioritize and safeguard consumers’ privacy and data rights.

Policy

Selected positions and recommendations from the IBM Policy Lab

Precision regulation for AI

Companies should utilize a risk-based AI governance policy framework and targeted policies to develop and operate trustworthy AI.

Facial recognition

IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software. We believe a precision regulation approach can inform a reasonably-balanced governance framework for facial recognition systems. Policymakers should employ precision regulation that applies restrictions and oversight to particular use-cases and end-users where there is greater risk of societal harm.

Data responsibility

Organizations that collect, store, manage or process data have an obligation to handle it responsibly, ensuring ownership and privacy, security, and trust.

Additional resources

Read more about IBM policies and practices on emerging technology

IBM Policy Lab

A new forum providing policymakers with a vision and actionable recommendations to harness the benefits of innovation while ensuring trust in a world being reshaped by data.

IBM Trust Center

Information about our commitment to protect our clients and business with security and privacy practices.

AI Ethics Board

The IBM AI Ethics Board is a natural evolution of the ethical decision-making IBM applies to AI.

The Board was established as a central, cross-disciplinary body to support a culture of ethical, responsible, and trustworthy AI throughout IBM.

Our mission is to support a centralized governance, review, and decision-making process for IBM ethics policies, practices, communications, research, products and services. By infusing our long-standing principles and ethical thinking, the Board is one mechanism by which IBM holds our company and all IBMers accountable to our values.

Learn more →

Francesca Rossi's photo

Francesca Rossi

IBM fellow and AI Ethics Global Leader

Christina Montgomery's photo

Christina Montgomery

Vice President & Chief Privacy Officer

Initiatives

Open-source community resources

We are dedicated to empowering the world with responsible AI through our educational resources. IBM donated three open-source projects to the Linux Foundation toward the mission of co-creating responsible AI-powered technologies with the larger community.

Product offering

Manage regulatory compliance by tracing and explaining AI decisions across workflows, and intelligently detect and correct bias to improve outcomes. IBM Watson OpenScale will easily operate with model development environments from other vendors and open source tools. It provides an innovative set of monitoring and management tools that help you build trust and implement control and governance structures around your AI investments. 

Discover Watson OpenScale →

Serving the greater good

An open solution that helps remove barriers to enterprise-scale AI

Featured collaborations

Working together for ethical AI

IBM works with governments, academia, non-profits and industry partners to further the implementation of ethical AI.